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Steering Clear of Racial ProfilingTown Hall Meeting at UM Law Police racial bias in profiling blacks, Hispanics and other minority drivers that allegedly results in illegal stops based on skin color — rather than driving practices — will be the topic at a town hall meeting sponsored by the University of Maryland School of Law on Wednesday, Nov. 1, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Judge Andre M. Davis of the U.S. District Court in Baltimore — who recently was nominated to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by President Clinton — will emcee the event at the Terrace Lounge in the Baltimore Student Union at 621 W. Lombard St. in downtown Baltimore.Featured speakers include Ella Forbes, a professor of African-American studies at Temple University whose son Erin was shot and killed by a Philadelphia-area police officer last January and is a founder of Mothers Organized Against Police Terror; a representative from the Baltimore City Police Department; and William J. Mertens, lead counsel on a class-action lawsuit against the Maryland State Police brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the NAACP for racial profiling on Maryland’s highways.“On I-95, especially north of Baltimore, over 80 percent of stops and searches are directed against minorities, especially African-Americans,” Mertens said. “But they represent only about 20 percent of the traffic. The suit is an effort to enforce a settlement reached in 1995, when the police promised not to continue a pattern and practice of racial profiling.”The event is co-sponsored by the Asian-Pacific-American Law Students Association, the Black Law Students Association, the Latino Law Students Association, the Maryland Public Interest Law Project Inc. and the law school’s chapter of the ACLU.

Another First for Baylor-Thompson Will Head Baltimore City Orphans’ CourtIn addition to being the first black on the bench of the Baltimore City Orphans’ Court, Judge Joyce M. Baylor-Thompson now can add another first to her list of achievements: first woman to serve as chief judge of that court, which handles guardianship of children, protection of minors’ property, wills and estates. Last month Gov. Parris N. Glendening appointed Baylor-Thompson to fill the remainder of the term of Chief Judge Howard I. Golden, who died last summer. The term ends in 2002, when Baylor-Thompson must run for a four-year term to continue in the post.Baylor-Thompson, a 1986 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, has served on the court since 1994. “I want to make sure the work continues to be done as expeditiously as possible,” Baylor-Thompson said. “And we’ll continue do that. We’ll also continue efforts to computerize the court’s systems and eventually get on the Web, although that’s still a long way off.”Baylor-Thompson will be sworn in as chief judge at an investiture ceremony on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. at Courthouse East, Room 234, 111 N. Calvert St. in downtown Baltimore.

Something for Nothing from the ABAFree Litigation Ethics Training GuideLaw firms, bar associations and other groups that provide ethics and professionalism training now have a one-stop source — Litigation Ethics: Course Materials for Continuing Legal Education, a detailed collection of material developed and released by the American Bar Association Section of Litigation.The 550-page guide is divided into 11 chapters, each outlining a specific ethics course. Topics include supervisor/subordinate relationships in law firms; conflicts of interest in small-firm practice; conflicts in negotiations; contacts with adverse party’s employees; misdirected communications; ethics in depositions or discovery; and client and witness perjury.“This project brought together the best thinking and insight from top authorities on ethics in the legal profession,” Bruce Green, a law professor at Fordham University, said in a statement announcing the release. Green co-edited the guide with John Q. Barrett, associate professor of law at St. John’s University of Law.“That the ABA Section of Litigation chose to allocate significant resources to the development and free distribution of this guide underscores the importance of ethics CLE development in our profession,” Green said. “This collection of materials will expand and improve ethics training across the country.”To order a free copy, call the ABA Service Center at (800) 285-2221 and ask for product No. 531-0167.